This is whats wrong with my bank...(my wishlist)

I recall a phone call to First Direct to reset one of my three or four app passwords resulted in my account being locked down due to failing to battle through their security procedure! The only phone call I made after that was to close the account.

1 Like

I did the same Tom. What’s interesting is they haven’t even asked why so that shows how interested they are with feedback!

Yeah I’m in the same boat. Their customer service is second to none when you ring up but I shouldn’t have to ring up to reset my password several times.

Agree with many of these gripes. I spent about 90 mins on the phone to my bank waiting to unlock a locked app password. The task eventually took a task that took five minutes to resolve when I finally got through!
Aside from that, a feature that would benefit customers if it isn’t out there already would be the ability to virtually amalgamate all of your accounts in a way that checks wether or not you are actually in credit or debit before apply charges against you. A bit like the one account for mortgages.
To the point made before about account balances never appearing to reflect reality. I have been in the situation where I have inadvertently gone overdrawn on one account and been charged when I’ve had more than enough in savings and in other current accounts to offset the amount overdrawn. Whilst I’ve successfully argued for waivers I can’t imagine that it’s too difficult to apply this sort of logic to a customers suit of current accounts and savings accounts especially if they specifically opted into it.
Does this exist at any bank for anyone who isn’t a business customer? Perhaps it does and I’ve just been too apathetic to check! My bank does not seem to have the technical nouse to be able to manage this. Would like it if one did.

1 Like

I think one of the biggest problems with existing banks in that regard is that they suck at informing you of what’s going on.

Mondo might not automatically move money from your savings account to your current account, but I’m certain they would send a push notification asking if you’d like to do that with a one-tap button to make it happen.

1 Like

This kind of informing would be huge for me as it happens so often.

The biggest reason why I’m so excited about Mondo is because of how much First Direct sucks at telling me what’s going on. Never is the “available balance” up to date and what I think is there isn’t actually there and then I get charged £25 every time I go overdrawn which is pretty much once a week lately :expressionless:

1 Like

If anyone wants the ultimate in torture - opening (an extremely slow and Kafkesque experience in itself) a business account and then operating one with the Bank of Scotland is the ultimate spirit breaker.

If/once Mondo offer business accounts they will be guaranteed many business customers!

1 Like

Just a point about the Sunday thing. Sundays provide us with ideal opportunity to upgrade servers and implement changes before Monday.

That in itself is kinda hilarious. It’s a bit sad that existing banks simply lack the possibility of (ever?) being able to do continuous deployment, etc.

We do continuous deployment all the time. Sundays are reserved for the larger deployments that require servers to be brought down.

Yeah that’s still not really any excuse.

0 downtime for any system upgrade, regardless of scale, is very possible.

How many times has Facebook, Amazon, iCloud, Google and Gmail been updated? Did Gmail start bouncing emails, or Google stop serving requests, or iCloud stop syncing whilst these upgrades were happening? Absolutely not. Google handles more requests and serves more data than a high street bank and still had 0 downtime, upgrading extremely complicated systems and data structures (thinking of where they came from, to where they are now).

Yes, they have entered an a highly technological age with less baggage to upgrade, but upgrades without downtime have been a thing for a long time, and there is no other reason I can fathom, as a developer, other than lack of technical capacity or laziness.


Exactly. There’s no excuse for downtime in 2016. Especially for organisations that spend billions on their IT systems.

Look I don’t know the ins and outs of the deployment. In order to get Sunday as a processing day we would need every bank to work in the same way. Otherwise we’d have a range of different processing times. Until all do. We can’t do anything.

There isn’t any downtime that will impact the customers or the service the bank provides. I can’t comment any further really without knowing the stats and otherwise I might get into some trouble at work

So far my experience with Mondo’s interbank transfer processes is:

  • 2 out of 10 top ups failed ever to appear in Mondo until they were chased manually
  • A repayment (due to over topping up one month) has so far taken 10 real life days (aka 6 ‘banking days’), and it hasn’t happened yet

When I use any of my existing current accounts with “legacy banks”, it seems to take 2 hours, even at weekends. Mondo support has been great… but unfortunately the score for transfers in or out is:

Legacy 2, Mondo nil


While it’s fun to bash on banks, you have to remember that all UK banks up until now were built around batch job processing and settlements (usually end of day). In addition, the kind of deployments they’re doing can take a whole day of solid database activity on a mainframe so Sunday is a very useful day.

You also just can’t do agile or any kind of CI in environments where if something fails, management comes down and blames the person who wrote the line that failed, making them and their manager personally responsible for any outages. This quickly leads to teams backing out to building and testing everything so thoroughly that agile becomes impossible. Especially when the threat of the regulator sits about everything you do and your unscheduled downtime or issues during the day could potentially bring parts of the country to a halt and cause mass panic.

Let’s take an issue we had here a while back, transactions not appearing in the feed even after a week. This would be completely unacceptable in a traditional bank where what the user sees must be accurate and correct to their account’s current state. You would not be allowed to push that out to production and it would be tested under every possible state to make sure of that with jobs to verify and report/clean up anything that didn’t complete. Not that the job should find anything because the entire process would be built on endless checks and queue managers that will back out, report and try again if anything doesn’t happen exactly the way it should.

Remember, banking was traditionally a daytime only operation, accounts would be updated and payments would be made in the late evening for overnight settlement. All this real time and 24/7 stuff (debit cards, ATMs, mobile apps, etc.) was built on that incredibly legacy business base over many years. Every technology company @danbeddows listed started very recently in comparison to the banking industry and were built from the start to be 24/7 online operations.

I agree that it’s all mostly corporate and political BS but at this point, to fix it you would have to start again from zero with a new bank built to handle modern, instant technologies. I wonder when someone will do that. :thinking:


The reason why such services are able to remain operational is they operate in the ‘cloud’ and are able to offload traffic to different locations around the globe while such upgrades happen to servers.

Until recently it was required that traditional banking services where carried out in-house and not ‘in the cloud’. In November 15, the FCA published ‘Proposed guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third-party IT services’ which allows the use of ‘cloud’ technology to be used for main banking services. Which should mean as Banks start to slowly move things over to the cloud, there is a greater chance that there will be close to 0 downtime during upgrades.

1 Like

I agree that those services are at an advantage because they have the ability to offload their data to other datacentres.

But offsite/3rd party sites or not, it is still no excuse for high street banks: they have multiple datacenter sites managed internally that they can upgrade at their will. If they do not have the capacity, then they should get it. They are billion dollar companies.

All I’m saying, is there is a problem, and the bank can own the problem (more datacenters, better infrastructure etc) or they can pass it on to their customers. The tradition high street banks always pass these sort of problems onto their customers. They are riddled with limitation.

1 Like

which would cause downtime and therefore more complaints. The bank industry needs to upgrade, but due to age of some of the systems it is near impossible to complete without whole services being re-written for the modern age.

NatWest for example can and does process transactions on Sundays but the date is always the next working days (i.e. Monday or Tuesday if BH).

1 Like

How would adding more capacity create downtime?

If you build a datacenter with your banking software, and add it to your fleet, you will not be creating any downtime.

I’m not reinventing the wheel here.

You replicate your production environment on a testing environment with your production data, you upgrade the testing environment, you triple check everything is okay, and then you start sending your traffic over there. Then you repeat it all again for the next upgrade. Any data change at your production environment gets upgraded and pushed to your testing environment during the upgrade.

All of the banks data is stored in databases, all of their software runs on servers. The layers of it’s banking software is ancient, but basic concepts like this still apply.

This is fairly standard stuff…